Microsoft has just announced an ambitious goal and a new plan to reduce and ultimately remove Microsoft’s carbon footprint.
Microsoft this week launched an initiative to use its technology to help suppliers and customers around the world reduce their own carbon footprints together with a new $1 billion climate innovation fund to accelerate the global development of carbon reduction, capture, and removal technologies.
Microsoft’s aggressive program will cut carbon emissions by more than half by 2030, both in direct emissions and across the entire supply and value chain and by 2050, Microsoft will have removed from the environment all the carbon the company has emitted either directly or by electrical consumption since it was founded in 1975.
“The scientific consensus is clear. The world confronts an urgent carbon problem. Every year humanity pumps more than 50 billion metric tons of additional greenhouse gases into the air. This isn’t a problem that lasts a few years or even a decade. Once excess carbon enters the atmosphere it can take thousands of years to dissipate. While the world will need to reach net zero, those of us who can afford to move faster and go further should do so,” said Microsoft.
Carbon reduction will also become an explicit aspect of Microsoft’s procurement processes for its supply chain. Progress on all of these fronts will be published in a new annual Environmental Sustainability Report that will detail Microsoft’s carbon impact and reduction journey. All this work will be supported by our voice and advocacy supporting public policy that will accelerate carbon reduction and removal opportunities.
“Whenever we take on a new and complex societal issue, we strive first to learn and then to define a principled approach to guide our efforts. This has been fundamental to our work around the protection of privacy and the ethical development of artificial intelligence, and it’s the approach we’re taking to pursue our aggressive carbon goals as well,” added the company.
Microsoft’s strategy for this project is being based on seven principles that will be vital as the company continually innovates and takes additional steps on an ongoing basis. These include using available science and most accurate math, taking responsibility for our carbon footprint, investing for new carbon reduction and removal technology, empowering customers around the world, ensuring effective transparency, using our voice on carbon-related public policy issues and enlisting our employees.
Starting in July, all Microsoft’s business divisions will pay an internal carbon fee for all their scope 3 emissions. By July of 2021, Microsoft will begin to implement new procurement processes and tools to enable and incentivize its suppliers to reduce their emissions.
By 2025, Microsoft plans to shift to 100 percent supply of renewable energy, meaning that we will have power purchase agreements for green energy contracted for 100 percent of carbon emitting electricity consumed by all our data centers, buildings, and campuses.
We will electrify our global campus operations vehicle fleet by 2030.
Microsoft also launched an expanded internal site where its employees can learn more. Each year this work will culminate during our annual weeklong hackathon event that will include a specific focus and call for proposals on carbon reduction and removal.
“It won’t be easy for Microsoft to become carbon negative by 2030. But we believe it’s the right goal. And with the right commitment, it’s an achievable goal. We will need to continue to learn and adapt, both separately and even more importantly in close collaboration with others around the world,” concluded Microsoft.